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Apr 12, 2001
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113350-extreme.jpg


longer bars represent faster speeds
The Webkit blog has posted benchmarks on their "next generation" JavaScript interpreter called SquirrelFish Extreme (SFX). SquirrelFish Extreme uses "more advanced techniques" to deliver even faster JavaScript performance.

The new version of SquirrelFish is nearly twice as fast the first version of SquirrelFish which we previously reported on. It is also over three times faster then the current Safari 3.1 version that is available from Apple.

JavaScript is heavily used in many modern interactive websites, including Apple's own MobileMe web apps. Google is also investing heavily in improving JavaScript performance and is working on their own accelerated JavaScript interpreter called V8. According to one blog, SquirrelFish Extreme is 38% faster than the current version of V8.

SquirrelFish Extreme is now available in the nightly betas of Webkit for personal testing, and should eventually make its way into future Safari releases.

Article Link
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
Is the speed of javascript really that much of a problem that we need it to be that much faster? I have no idea because I know nothing when it comes to javascript.

P-Worm
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,703
4,552
Is the speed of javascript really that much of a problem that we need it to be that much faster? I have no idea because I know nothing when it comes to javascript.

That's like asking if processor speeds are much of a problem. :)

I'm not sure it's so much of a problem, but people are using JavaScript for more intensive purposes (see mobileme). And faster is always better.

Also see:

http://www.harryguillermo.com/Pacman.aspx - PacMan in Javascript
http://280slides.com/ - "keynote"

arn
 
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overanalyzer

macrumors 6502a
Sep 7, 2007
909
0
Boston, MA USA
Anyone know if this is an Intel only technology?

Sort of:

Currently the code is limited to x86 32-bit, but we plan to refactor and add support for more CPU architectures. CPUs that are not yet supported by the JIT can still use the interpreter. We also think we can get a lot more speedups out of the JIT through techniques such as type specialization, better register allocation and liveness analysis. The SquirrelFish bytecode is a good representation for making many of these kinds of transforms.

In addition, we’re interested in having JIT back ends for other CPU architectures.

The JIT is limited to x86 processors at the moment, but they're intending to add more as they go, and other elements of the improvements to the interpreter are available regardless of platform.
 
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shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
Anyone know if this is an Intel only technology?
At the moment the native code generation only supports Intel 32-bit but they are working on expanding support out to other processors. On non-Intel 32b systems you will fallback to the improved SquirrelFish "direct threading" byte-code interpreter which is fast but slower then the native code generation JIT.

All other improvements in SFX should work on non-Intel systems as I read things.
 
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PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,240
5
well this is a good thing really because more and more javascripts are being used all around, and as such the difference will be able to be felt.
 
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shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
SFX has been merged into the mainline code and so are available in the nightly builds.

Also if you read the webkit blog post...

A Word About Benchmarks
We have included some performance results, but don’t take our word for it. You can get WebKit nightlies for Mac and Windows and try for yourself.
 
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bishboria

macrumors newbie
Sep 18, 2008
20
0
I'd quite like to see a javascript engine that you can plug-in to any browser. Like taking chrome and using SFX instead of V8. Wonder if google would like that after the amount of effort they put into V8 :)

I'm definitely going to download SFX and test it out.
 
Comment

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
That's like asking if processor speeds are much of a problem. :)

I'm not sure it's so much of a problem, but people are using JavaScript for more intensive purposes (see mobileme). And faster is always better.

Also see:

http://www.harryguillermo.com/Pacman.aspx - PacMan in Javascript
http://280slides.com/ - "keynote"

arn

Hmm. I see what you mean. I tried the PacMan one and it had some jitter to it. I thought that JavaScript was one of those things that could take forever to download, but once you did it was smooth sailing.

Anyway, I guess this opens a lot of doors for what can be done with it. Exciting stuff.

P-Worm
 
Comment

SirOmega

macrumors 6502a
Apr 17, 2006
704
2
Las Vegas
Isn't Chrome using Webkit? Does this mean Google could drop V8 development and use SFX? It doesn't make a lot of sense to diversify JS engine development because it just means more browsers and more configurations for website developers (and JS framework developers) to test. We've got four mainstream browsers right now - IE, FF, Safari and Opera. Chrome is moving in, but if Safari and Chrome both used webkit and SFX, it would keep from adding one more browser to test.
 
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shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
Hmm. I see what you mean. I tried the PacMan one and it had some jitter to it. I thought that JavaScript was one of those things that could take forever to download, but once you did it was smooth sailing.
Don't confuse Java with JavaScript. Java requires a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) to exist on your system (aka may have to download something). JavaScript is directly supported by modern browsers and JavaScript is often directly embedded in the HTML the browser downloads. "SFX" is talking about JavaScript not Java.

Blame Netscape for the confusion by calling it JavaScript.

Isn't Chrome using Webkit?
Yes for its rendering engine.

Does this mean Google could drop V8 development and use SFX?
Yes and given the V8 license Safari could pickup V8.

Personally I expect V8 and SFX to share ideas over time possibly ending up with a single JS engine in the WebKit domain. Chrome has unique-ish operational model that makes V8 a better pick for them at this time.
 
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Riemann Zeta

macrumors 6502a
Feb 12, 2008
661
0
Blame Netscape for the confusion by calling it JavaScript.
Yeah, it is a stupid name--back in the 1990s, Java was a hot buzzword, so I guess they couldn't resist. I would love to see anything that would speed up browsing back-ported to the iPhone, which still uses the old 3.1 webkit. I'm downloading the Webkit nightly and will start using it in lieu of Safari 4 DP2. The only issue I have with Safari 4 DP2 is that it is horribly unstable if you enable QuartzGL. So while I have QuartzGL hard-enabled on my system, I use the "QuartzGLEnable == No" flag in Safari's Info.plist. I guess I'll see if Webkit is snappier--it might be so snappy, I'll end up with whiplash.
 
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xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
Its about time they updated their blog.

SFX has been merged into the mainline code and so are available in the nightly builds.

Also if you read the webkit blog post...

I just got the latest nightly to check it out and :eek: 3.8x faster than the current version of Safari.

Left to right

Webkit: 996 ms
Safari 3.1.2: 3769 ms
Firefox (3.0.1): 3424 ms
Minefield with tracemonkey on: 1727 ms
 

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memco

macrumors 6502
May 1, 2008
254
1
I'm excited by this prospect for my personal browsing--it always helps to have fast browsing. Sadly, I'm still on a PPC mac so I can't take advantage of SFX. Further, this is kind of bad from a development perspective because people still running things like IE or FF are going to have worse experiences with code (if it's not properly optimized in its own right.)
 
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-Alan-

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2007
91
0
So, does this mean Safari will be able to start using the WYSIWYG editor here at MacRumors?
 
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shawnce

macrumors 65816
Jun 1, 2004
1,442
0
I'm excited by this prospect for my personal browsing--it always helps to have fast browsing. Sadly, I'm still on a PPC mac so I can't take advantage of SFX.
Yes you CAN benefit from SFX on PowerPC systems. Only the native JIT doesn't work all other / most other aspects SFX work on PowerPC.
 
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lgoodlove

macrumors member
Aug 20, 2008
57
0
Iowa
safari faster!!!

Safari running faster is good news to me. I know googles V8 is impressive and should be considered a big opponent in web browsing.

I know sooo windowz many ppl who love safari because of it's clean look, and fast performance.

The only thing I am disappointed with safari is it fails on loading images frequently compared to firefox 3. Any developers or close to want to tell me why this is? I am assuming it's because they want to decrease load times thus they give servers less time to respond... PLEASE if you know about this tell me I develop web sites and would love to know more about the "best browser in the world"
 
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xUKHCx

Administrator emeritus
Jan 15, 2006
12,583
7
The Kop
The only thing I am disappointed with safari is it fails on loading images frequently compared to firefox 3. Any developers or close to want to tell me why this is? I am assuming it's because they want to decrease load times thus they give servers less time to respond... PLEASE if you know about this tell me I develop web sites and would love to know more about the "best browser in the world"

Really I have found it to be the exact opposite and in fact when doing various tests/work in my browser in regards to images I simply can not use Firefox due to the dropped images however Safari gets them loaded 100% of the time. :confused:
 
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